San José International Airport
|Norman Y. Mineta San José International Airport|
|IATA: SJC – ICAO: KSJC – FAA LID: SJC|
|Owner||City of San José|
|Serves||San Francisco Bay Area|
|Location||San José, California, United States|
|Focus city for|
|Elevation AMSL||62 ft / 19 m|
Norman Y. Mineta San José International Airport (IATA: SJC, ICAO: KSJC, FAA LID: SJC) is a city-owned public airport in San José, Santa Clara County, California. It is named after San Jose native Norman Mineta, former Transportation Secretary in the Cabinet of George W. Bush and Commerce Secretary in the Cabinet of Bill Clinton. The name also recognizes Mineta's service as a councilman for, and mayor of, San Jose. It is a U.S. Customs and Border Protection international port of entry. It is three miles northwest of Downtown San José near the intersections of U.S. Route 101, Interstate 880, and State Route 87. The dominant carrier is Southwest Airlines with Alaska Airlines as the second largest. It also serves as a focus city for Alaska. The airport has free Wi-Fi in all terminals.
- 1 Overview
- 2 History
- 3 Public art
- 4 Facilities and aircraft
- 5 Terminals
- 6 Airlines and destinations
- 7 Statistics
- 8 Accidents and incidents
- 9 General aviation
- 10 Ground transportation
- 11 See also
- 12 Notes
- 13 References
- 14 External links
SJC is located in the middle of downtown San Jose, unlike SFO and OAK which are on opposite shores of San Francisco Bay. SJC's convenient location near downtown San José has its drawbacks: it is surrounded by the city and had little room for expansion. The proximity to downtown causes limits on building heights in downtown San José, by FAA rules.
Beginnings and expansion
In 1939 Ernie Renzel, a wholesale grocer and future mayor of San José, led a group that negotiated an option to buy 483 acres (1.95 km2) of the Stockton Ranch from the Crocker family, to be the site of San Jose's airport. Renzel led the effort to pass a bond measure to pay for the land in 1940. In 1945, test pilot James M. Nissen leased about 16 acres (6.5 ha) of this land to build a runway, hangar and office building for a flight school. When the city of San José decided to develop a municipal airport, Nissen sold his share of the aviation business and became San José's first airport manager. Renzel and Nissen were instrumental in the development of San José Municipal Airport over the next few decades, culminating with the 1965 opening of what later became Terminal C.
The runway that became 12R/30L was 4,500 feet (1,400 m) until about 1962—Brokaw Rd was the northwest boundary of the airport. In 1964 it was 6,312 feet (1,924 m), in 1965 it was 7787 ft, and a few years later it reached 8900 ft, where it stayed until around 1991. The two runways are now 11,000 feet (3,400 m).
In the early 1980s, San José International Airport (KSJC/SJC) was one of the first U.S airports to participate in the noise regulation program enacted by the U.S. Congress for delineation of airport noise contours and developing a pilot study of residential sound insulation. This program showed that residences near the airport could be retrofitted cost-effectively to reduce indoor aircraft noise substantially.
In 1990, San José International Airport greatly expanded with the opening of Terminal A. (Terminal B between Terminals A and C was planned for later.)
In November 2001, the airport was renamed after Norman Y. Mineta, a native of San José, its former mayor and congressman, former United States Secretary of Commerce and United States Secretary of Transportation.
Terminal B north concourse
In November 2001, San José City Council approved an amended master plan for the airport that called for a three-phase, nine-year expansion plan. The plan, designed by Gensler and The Steinberg Group, called for a single, consolidated "Central Terminal" with 40 gates (eight more than present), an international concourse and expanded security areas. The sail-shaped facade would greet up to 17.6 million passengers a year. A people mover system would link the new terminal with VTA light rail and the planned BART station next to the Santa Clara Caltrain station. Cargo facilities would be moved to the east side of the airport. A long term parking garage would be built where the rental car operations are now. A short term parking lot would be built on the site of Terminal C.
On December 16, 2003, the San José Airport Commission named the airfield after former mayor Ernie Renzel and named the future Central Terminal after James Nissen. In August 2004, the city broke ground on the North Concourse, the first phase of the master plan.
In November 2005, a scaled-back plan was approved and announced. The new two-phase plan called for a simplified Terminal B, rather than the initially proposed James Nissen Central Terminal, with a North Concourse to replace the aging Terminal C. In addition, Terminal A would be expanded for additional check-in counters, security checkpoints, and drop-off/pick-up curbside space. The new plan cost $1.3 billion, less than half of the original plan's cost of $3 billion. The first phase was completed on June 30, 2010, when Terminal B and the North Concourse officially opened for service. The second phase, adding a South Concourse to Terminal B, is to be built when demand is sufficient.
Passenger service history
San José's first airline flights were Southwest Airways DC-3s on the multistop run between San Francisco (SFO) and Los Angeles (LAX), starting in 1948. Southwest – later called Pacific – was the only airline until 1966, when Pacific Southwest Airlines (PSA) started flying Lockheed Electra turboprops nonstop from LAX, with Boeing 727s later that year. SJC's first airline jets were Pacific Boeing 727 nonstops to LAX earlier in 1966. In 1968 United Airlines arrived, with Boeing 727 nonstop flights from Denver, Chicago and LAX, and Douglas DC-8s from New York and Baltimore.
American Airlines opened a hub at San José in 1988, using slots it obtained in the buyout of Air California in 1986. Reno Air, a startup based in Reno, Nevada, took over many of American's gates until it was bought out by American in 1998. By summer 2001, American served Paris, Taipei and Tokyo nonstop from San José and had domestic flights to Austin, Boston, Denver, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Maui, Orange County, Portland, Phoenix, San Diego and Seattle.
After the September 11 attacks and the dot-com bubble burst in 2001, the city lost several flights. Air Canada dropped its flights to Toronto and Ottawa, Canada, and American Airlines ended its nonstops to Taipei, Vancouver, and Paris. American also dropped its flights to Miami, St. Louis, Seattle/Tacoma, Portland (OR), Denver, Orange County, CA and Phoenix; the airline's flights to Los Angeles were downgraded to American Eagle regional flights.
Reduction at SJC continued throughout 2004. Alaska Airlines halted its San José–Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas seasonal routes, Horizon Air ended its twice daily San José–Tucson service. and American Airlines ended its San José–San Luis Obispo and San José–Boston Logan links.
In October 2005, Hawaiian Airlines began daily nonstops to Honolulu. San José was Hawaiian's fifth city in California, along with San Diego, Los Angeles, Sacramento and San Francisco. In October 2006 American Airlines ended the San José–Tokyo–Narita route, San José's last nonstop beyond North America and Hawaii.
SJC suffered with many mid-tier airports during the 2008 rise in oil prices as airlines reduced marginal services. SJC lost much of its transcontinental U.S. service in the fall with Continental ending Newark flights, JetBlue ending Boston nonstops, and United ending flights to its Chicago–O'Hare and Washington Dulles hubs. The New York Times reported that between 2007 and 2009, SJC lost 22% of its seat capacity.
In the summer of 2009 American Airlines ended flights to Austin, Texas. Alaska Airlines announced it would begin new routes to Austin from SJC and would upgrade some service to Portland, Oregon, which was run by regional subsidiary Horizon Air, to jet flights that began on September 2, 2009.
Frontier Airlines pulled out of SJC in May 2010, citing lack of profitability on its single flight from the airport to Denver, Colorado. In August 2010, Mexicana Airlines also suspended all flights permanently due to bankruptcy.
2010–present: Rebound in Service
Beginning in 2010, service expanded at SJC for the first time in several years. JetBlue Airways resumed San José/Boston, although it ended service to Long Beach on the same day and will now restart until January 2017. Volaris began service at SJC in May 2010 with flights to Guadalajara, Mexico. Alaska Airlines added service to Kahului, Kona, Lihue, and Los Cabos/San José del Cabo. The airline also doubled its flights to several cities on its regional subsidiary, Horizon Air and added service to Guadalajara, Mexico, which began on December 15, 2010. Alaska Airlines now operates most of its Bay Area flights from San José.
Hawaiian Airlines announced that it would begin service to Maui on January 10, 2012 in September 2011. The same day Alaska Airlines announced that it would upgrade its service to Kahului and Kauai to daily; Alaska Airlines flew daily to Kahului, Kauai, Kona and Honolulu. However, Alaska Airlines cutback its flights and as of August 2014, flies to Honolulu daily in the summer and four times per week in the winter, Maui daily all year, to Kona on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and Kauai on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
In December 2011, All Nippon Airways announced it would begin service between San José and Tokyo in 2012, restoring the link between the two cities that was lost when American Airlines ended service on the route in 2006. The airline uses the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, making San José one of the first two cities in the United States to see scheduled 787s. However, the airline had postponed the launch of the route to early 2013 as the airline awaited delivery of additional 787 aircraft. The airline launched service to Tokyo on January 11, 2013. The 787 was grounded after its inaugural flight due to mechanical errors. Service to Tokyo resumed on June 1, 2013.
On February 4, 2013, Virgin America announced it will begin service from San José to Los Angeles International Airport on May 1, 2013, with four daily nonstop flights each way. Virgin America would have been the only carrier with first class service on all SJC–LAX and LAX–SJC flights. The carrier also utilized its Airbus A320 aircraft on all flights between the two airports. However, March 2014, Virgin America announced that the route would end on May 14, 2014, due to a decrease in demand.
In late 2015 and early 2016, Alaska Airlines grew rapidly at Mineta Airport. In June 2015 it announced service to Eugene with regional partner Horizon which began the following November. It also announced in February 2016 that it would launch service to Orange County and San Diego, via SkyWest. After these launch, Alaska will have 28 peak day departures to 14 destinations from San José. Alaska has called SJC a focus city in several articles when announcing new destinations from San José.
Several new international flights were announced in 2015 and 2016. Hainan Airlines began nonstop flights from Beijing on June 15, 2015. British Airways commenced a daily, Boeing 787 Dreamliner service from London–Heathrow on May 4, 2016; and Air Canada returned to SJC on May 9, providing flights from Vancouver operated by Air Canada Express. Lufthansa connected SJC and Frankfurt on July 1, with flights operated by Lufthansa CityLine Airbus A340-300 aircraft. Air China introduced Shanghai–Pudong flights on September 1 with an Airbus A330-200.
With slot controls loosened at Newark starting winter 2016-2017, Alaska Airlines in July 2016 announced a daytime flight to Newark to complement the existing red-eye flight to the New York area from Jetblue.  Days later, United Airlines announced it would restart service to both Newark and Chicago-O'Hare.  Later, JetBlue announced that it would restart service to Long Beach on January 4, 2017.
SJC's new consolidated parking and rental facility, CONRAC, has been fitted with new public art featuring hands of people in Silicon Valley. The art is on the outside of the facility and can be seen from more than one mile away. Artist Christian Moeller designed the new "Hands" mural.
Facilities and aircraft
Norman Y. Mineta San José International Airport covers 1,050 acres (420 ha) at an elevation of 62 feet (19 m). It has two active runways: 12L/30R and 12R/30L, each 11,000 by 150 feet (3,353 m × 46 m) concrete.[note 1] The runway separation is less than ideal: 700 feet between centerlines.
In 2012 the airport had 134,947 aircraft operations, average 370 per day: 60% airline, 16% air taxi, 23% general aviation and <1% military. 123 aircraft were then based at the airport: 49% single-engine, 12% multi-engine, 37% jet and 2% helicopter.
From 1960 to 2010 San José State University operated a flight-simulator facility for its aviation program in buildings at the southeast corner of the airport. The university has since moved to the Reid–Hillview Airport about 5 miles southeast.
There are two terminals at the airport, Terminal A, opened in 1990 and Terminal B, opened in 2010. The terminals are connected airside. The airport's first modern terminal building, Terminal C, was opened in 1965, closed in 2010, and then demolished. Its location is now a short term parking lot.
In 2009, the gates at the airport were renumbered in preparation for the addition of Terminal B. Gate A16B at the north end became Gate 1 and Gate A1A at the south end became Gate 16.
Terminal A has 16 gates: 1–16.
Designed by a team of architects and engineers led by HTB, Inc., Terminal A and its adjoining parking garage were originally designed and built in 1990 for American Airlines. The overall program was led by a joint team of San José Airport and Public Works staff known as the "Airport Development Team". The project was awarded the Public Works Project of the Year by the California Council of Civil Engineers. It underwent extensive renovation and expansion in 2009, with larger ground-level ticketing counters, more curbside parking space, larger security checkpoints and more concessions. The renovations and expansion was designed by Curtis W. Fentress, FAIA, RIBA of Fentress Architects.
The terminal includes an international arrivals building, which contains Gates 15 and 16. All arrivals from international flights at the airport must clear customs and immigration from this building (except for flights from airports with US border preclearance). Gates 17 and 18 were converted to handle international arrivals in early 2015.
Terminal A had an Admirals Club across from Gate 8 for American Airlines passengers, however the club closed in September 2010, with the airline citing rising costs and cutbacks in its flight schedule at San José for the club's closure. Terminal A now has a paid entry lounge called The Club at SJC near the international gates where passengers can wait for their flights and have access to snacks and beverages.
The concourse was designed by Gensler (see inset photo) and the Terminal by Fentress Architects. Construction management was provided by Hensel Phelps Construction Co. The terminal officially opened on June 30, 2010. Its design features dramatic daylit spaces, modern art, shared use ticket counters/gates, and chairs with power cords and USB ports on the armrest to charge laptops or handheld devices.
The terminal earned a LEED Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council in 2010 in recognition of the airport's significant commitment to environmentally sustainable design and construction.
The North Concourse of Terminal B has 12 gates: 17–28. The first six gates of the new concourse were opened to the public on July 15, 2009. The remaining gates were opened on June 30, 2010. Southwest Airlines is the primary tenant, along with Alaska Airlines, Horizon Air, Hainan Airlines, Lufthansa, and British Airways. Delta Air Lines moved from Terminal B to Terminal A on January 17, 2012.
The terminal has 2 international arrival gates, Gates 17 and 18. All arrivals from international flights at the airport must clear customs and immigration from the International Arrivals building (except for flights from airports with US border preclearance).
Former Terminal C
This terminal was built in 1965, before jet bridges (elevated corridors that connect planes to the terminal) became common at airports. Instead of using jet bridges, Terminal C mostly used airstairs. Some airlines, including Alaska Airlines and SkyWest Airlines, used turboway ramps. In preparation for construction of Terminal B, the north end of Terminal C, previously home to gates C14–C16, which housed Alaska Airlines, Horizon Air and Frontier Airlines, was closed for demolition in December 2007. The remaining portion of the terminal was reconfigured, including the addition of a new, larger, consolidated security checkpoint. The demolition of the north end occurred in February 2008, officially clearing the way for construction of Terminal B.
In December 2009, United Airlines, Continental Airlines and JetBlue Airways moved to new or reconstructed gates in Terminal A, as the area within Terminal C containing the three airlines' gates was demolished. Other airlines operating at that time within Terminal C remained in the terminal until the North Concourse of Terminal B opened in June 2010.
The Terminal C baggage claim was closed for demolition on February 2, 2010. This allowed for completion of the airport's new roadways. The terminal was officially closed on June 30, 2010. The remaining portions of the terminal were torn down in July 2010 and the space the terminal occupied now serves as a surface parking lot.
Airlines and destinations
All international arrivals (except from airports with U.S. border pre-clearance) are handled at Terminal A.
|1||Los Angeles, California||577,000||American, Delta, Southwest|
|2||Seattle/Tacoma, Washington||495,000||Alaska, Delta, Southwest|
|3||Phoenix–Sky Harbor, Arizona||391,000||American, Southwest, US Airways|
|4||Las Vegas, Nevada||383,000||Delta, Southwest|
|5||San Diego, California||357,000||Southwest, Alaska|
|6||Orange County, California||336,000||Southwest, Alaska|
|7||Portland, Oregon||290,000||Alaska, Southwest|
|8||Denver, Colorado||263,000||Southwest, United|
|9||Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas||215,000||American|
|1||Tokyo (Narita), Japan||104,000||ANA|
|2||San José del Cabo, Mexico||95,324||Alaska|
|3||Guadalajara, Mexico||87,000||Alaska, Volaris|
|4||Beijing (Capital), China||24,000||Hainan|
|5||Delta Air Lines||472,000||5.01%|
Accidents and incidents
- October 25, 1999 – San José Police Department McDonnell Douglas 500N helicopter N904PD lost control while entering the traffic pattern at SJC during a maintenance ferry flight. The helicopter crashed onto The Alameda, near highway 880, killing a San José Police Officer/pilot, Desmond Casey, and the helicopter's mechanic, who were on board. There were no reported damage or injuries on the ground. The NTSB determined that temporary repairs made in order to ferry the helicopter back to SJC, actually made the controllability problem that was intended to be solved, worse. Pilot manuals and training for the NOTAR (no tail rotor) helicopter did not provide adequate preparation for the pilot, who was experienced in conventional helicopters, to recover from a stuck thruster condition which occurred.
Private and corporate aircraft are based on the opposite side of the runway from Terminals A and B, off Coleman Avenue.
- TWC Aviation
- Atlantic Aviation (formerly San José Jet Center)
- AvBase, Inc.
- Signature Flight Support
The former General Aviation services were previously located, on the South end of what is now 30R and was, in fact, the place for plane spotters and photographers with the San José State University Aviation Department formerly located at the corner of Coleman Avenue and Airport Blvd, which was at a cost of only $1.00 per year, paid to the airport administration.
The airport's web site lists ground transportation options at SJC including taxis, limousines, rental cars, shuttles and public transportation, which are located on or accessible from the airport.
Public transit connections
The free VTA Route 10 Airport Flyer bus connects the airport to the Santa Clara Station for Caltrain and ACE commuter rail services as well as numerous local buses; and to the Metro/Airport Light Rail Station for VTA's light rail service.
The Silicon Valley BART extension is planned to have its terminus at an expansion of the existing Santa Clara train station, where it will serve SJC. Since Levi's Stadium is in close proximity to SJC, many fans traveling to the game have used the airport and then used transport to Santa Clara.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to San José International Airport.|
- List of attractions in Silicon Valley
- List of airports in California
- Reid–Hillview Airport, general aviation reliever airport also in San José, 4 miles ESE of SJC
- Moffett Federal Airfield, Air National Guard base and NASA Ames Research Center 5 miles WNW of SJC with the only other large runways in Silicon Valley
- As of 2014, former runway 11/29 (4,599 by 100 feet (1,402 m × 30 m)) is closed indefinitely and is now a taxiway.
- Norman Y. Mineta San José International Airport – Airport Activity (2014)
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- "Installation of Airport's "Hands" Public Art Starts" (PDF). June 23, 2009. Retrieved July 9, 2009.
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- Official website
- (PDF), effective September 15, 2016
- Resources for this airport: